10 Things to Give your Network

Many people worry that spending time networking is being “Political” which they are philosophically against, or that it’s a selfish activity to “get” things from other people.

The Networking Paradox:

  • You need a network that can help you
  • Networking is about Giving not Taking

Highly successful people are successful because they get a lot of help, not because they are too good to need it.   Their network is ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice, whenever they need it – and they call upon it regularly.

But then how is Networking about Giving? 

  • You Build your network by Giving
  • You Use your network by Taking

 The trick:

  • GIVE when you don’t need anything
  • TAKE LESS than you GIVE – always

10 Things you can Give your Network:

1. Hello, news:  Just say hello or update people when something interesting happens.  Be the one to stay in touch. You are not asking for anything.  You like to hear from people, so do they.

2.  Remember things: Listen. Keep details about them in your contact database. Did your son get his black belt? Did you buy the Aston Martin?  How is your daughter doing in NY?  It feels good when someone remembers your details.

3. Offer to help: What is your challenge right now? How I can help you? 

4. Positive feedback:  I was really impressed with [that article, that talk, something you did]… it really made a difference to me.  Thank you.  How often do you get positive feedback? 

5. Say Thank You.  I can’t tell you how many people I only hear from when they need a reference, and then after I let them know I did it, I never hear from them again.  Saying thank you is a big deal in your network.  Thank people a lot and often.

6. Follow up: When you ask someone in your network for something and they give it (like a reference, advice, an introduction) let them know what happened.  Did you get the job? Did the idea work?  Most people don’t do this. I do all kinds of things people request of me, and never hear back about what happened.  When I do, it is the exception, and I am thrilled.

7. Make an introduction: Be astute about helpful introductions you can make.  You have then given two people a valuable gift without asking for anything in return.

8. A point of interest or enjoyment: If you remember what is important to people and what they like, it gives you an opportunity to point them to great stuff that you run across.  Food also works!

9. Photos:  Photos of things you saw and did, you, your family.  You always look at them, don’t you?  It is a real personal touch.   But make sure to either send a link or resize them.  Don’t email 8MB photos.

10. Video Mail: Video mail is an excellent way to make a contact as well.  People really appreciate it.  And it seems like a much bigger deal than it actually is!  Some free services here: www.eyejot.com and www.tokbox.com.

Schedule time to do it:

Schedule a block of time each week or month to reach out to your network. 

Think about how many emails you could send in 30 minutes.  Think about how many 1 minute video mails you could send in 1 hour.  Put 2 people in your calendar each month that you want to call to personally catch up with. 

You will find if you do these things, you will have an army of people who want to help you, and it won’t feel political or like you are being selfish.

Related Articles:

The Power of Weak Connections
Who has the best Ideas?
Authentic Networking

More Resources:

Attend this month’s Member Call on Networking vs. Politics

Download the Authentic Networking Podcast 

Subscribe here for email or RSS updates.

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

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